For the Cumberland Times-News
CUMBERLAND — Haven Mackie punched in the unassisted game-winner with 2:10 left in the match to lift the fifth-ranked Bishop Walsh Spartans over Fort Hill, 4-3, in a City League match Wednesday at Brother Stephen F. Paul Spartan Stadium that produced one of the “wildest” finishes of this or any season, as the Sentinels’ Austin Parker had scored three second-half goals in the matter of 3:36 to tie the score.
The Spartans initially went ahead at 10:24 of the first half when Will Giles scored on an assist by Gordon Hasslinger.
To open the second-half scoring, Mackie scored on another Hasslinger assist at 28:55 to make it 2-0, before Hasslinger scored on a direct kick at 13:30 to give the Spartans a seemingly comfortable 3-0 lead.
That’s when Parker got busy, however, scoring first at 7:28 on a Ty Lawson assist. Less than one minute later, Parker made it 3-2 when he scored on a free kick. Then at 3:52 of the second, Parker took an assist by Bradley Stotler to tie the score at 3-3.
Mackie, however, 2:42 later, score unassisted at 2:10 of the second half to give the Spartans the lead for good.
“I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” said Bishop Walsh co-head coach Joe Rowan, “and that’s probably one of the wildest finishes I’ve ever seen. We’re up 3-0 with 7:30 to go and Fort Hill makes a furious comeback to score three times in a little over three minutes.
“The momentum had swung and our kids were battling from their heels. We were able to regroup, though, and scored the game-winner. I don’t even want to think about what would have happened in an overtime.”
Bishop Walsh outshot Fort Hill, 16-10, while Fort Hill had a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks. BW keeper Lucas Bruck had five saves and Jarrett Wolfe had eight for Fort Hill.
“It was a typical Fort Hill-Bishop Walsh soccer game; it seems they’re all close,” Rowan said. “It was a good game for the fans, but a terrible one to coach in. Almost gave me a heart attack.”
For the Spartans, it was the eighth one-goal game of the season, BW now with a 4-4 mark in such matches.
“I guess our kids like it close,” added Rowan. “I think they’re trying to kill me.”
Bishop Walsh (11-4 overall, 2-1 City) will play No. 1 Allegany Saturday at the school’s Homecoming. The junior varsity match begins at 10 a.m. and the varsity at 11:30 a.m. Fort Hill (5-6, 0-3) will host Northern on Tuesday.
Fort Hill won Wednesday’s junior varsity match, 1-0, on Darin O’Brien’s unassisted goal.